For the past couple of months I’ve not been riding much at night (well, not as much as I normally do) – it seems that every year when February arrives, following several winter months of cold, wind, sleet, snow, rain and dark, I just can’t bring myself to head out most evenings for several hours and starting and finishing the ride in darkness. Every winter it starts to wear thin. I’m not riding less, I just start to set my alarm clock differently and break up the routine with an equal number of evening and morning training rides.
After getting knocked off the bike just after New Year I didn’t ride much at all for weeks. Somewhat inevitably I’m definitely lagging behind where I normally am fitness-wise for this time of year but what is a surprise is that even after a break from the usual silliness I’ve been just as hacked off with the winter as I usually am.
So I’ve been riding early in the morning a bit more regularly. As you can probably imagine, it’s horrible getting out of bed at precisely 4:50 am to be out of the door at 5, it’s just as horrible heading out in the darkness as it is when I ride at night. But the big plus is that the sun comes up at some point during the ride and that’s happening earlier every day. And that makes it all worth it. Not only that, but in March, once the sun comes up, it starts to get noticeably warm.
‘Best time of the day’ is what my grandad used to say about early morning. He might have had a point (although I reckon it’s a tie with dinner time).